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Phone Operators Fined Over Unanswered 999 Calls

JT and Sure have both been fined by the telecoms regulator after technical problems saw 999 calls go unanswered.

The JCRA has ordered them to pay the Treasury a combined £810,000, after 'repeated' network failures between January and April last year.

They're both required to provide the service as a condition of their licences.

Regulator CEO, Tim Ringsdore, says the JCRA takes the failings very seriously:

"These fines are appropriate given the seriousness of the the failures, despite the operators having knowledge of the problem. I am confident that our investigations have been thorough and robust. 

JCRA CEO Tim Ringsdore

"I would like to thank the Operators for their co-operation, the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Economic Development for their support and the emergency services for their contribution."

Home Affairs Minister, Constable Len Norman, says it's fortunate that no one died during the outages:

"Everyone who lives in, or visits Jersey, relies on the 999/112 services being available if they need to get help in an emergency. These failures fell far short of the required standard that we expect. Fortunately no loss of life is known to have resulted as a consequence of any of the six incidents that were the subject of this investigation. 

"I would like to congratulate the Authority for its swift response to this issue and its diligence in carrying out a root and branch investigation of the breaches. I cannot stress enough the seriousness of the failures and the possible consequences that were, thankfully, avoided." 

JT was fined £675,000 for it's part in the service outage. The company's boss, Graeme Millar, has apologised for the disruption:

"On behalf of JT, I would like to re-affirm my apology for our part in the problems in the early part of 2020 which led to this fine. JT has played a key role in providing those services on behalf of the Island for more than a century, and we take our responsibilities in this area very seriously indeed. 

The JT offices on Minden Place

"JT has worked hand-in-hand with the Authority, and the Justice and Home Affairs Department, throughout this process. I would like to reassure Islanders that the relevant problems have now been identified and resolved, and the circumstances which led to last year's incidents have not been repeated. 

"We accept the Authority's decision on this matter and will now be focused on making sure these important services are delivered in the best possible way." 

Sure was fined £135,000. The company's CEO, Graham Hughes, also apologised for the service falling short:

"We recognise the seriousness of these failures and are sorry that there was an issue with Sure's handover process for emergency calls.

"As a result of this incident we have reviewed our procedures and made immediate changes to ensure the process is smooth and reliable. Having initially raised this issue with the JCRA we are pleased to have cooperated with them to bring this matter to its conclusion." 

Sure's town shop in St Helier

The financial penalties imposed on the company by the JCRA will be passed on to the States Treasury. 

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